Macworld 2007 - Summary and iPhone Announcement

by Aaron Wright Jan 09, 2007

It’s that time of year again when the Mac community acts like excited school children on caffeine, awaiting Steve Jobs and co. to appear on stage and let us know what they’ve been getting up to for the past year. Sure, we get the odd keynote throughout the year, but none compare to the keynote at Macworld! Time to put those crystal balls away and read up on whether or not those rumours came true.

Things really started to sink in around 35 minutes before the start of the show as the online Apple store was once again shut down in a routine update that takes place before every keynote. So, what does that mean? New Apple gear my humble folk!

If you’ve read this far without jumping ahead to see what was announced, you’ll be pleased to know that Apple’s popularity is through the roof, as Macworld 2007 had without a doubt the largest audience in attendance compared to past years, so much so that the keynote started later than scheduled due to the large queues waiting outside – Hadley Stern and Chris Seibold of Apple Matters now doubt giving us their account of the atmosphere at a later date.

Facts and figures

Jobs enjoys getting the some-what boring yet sometimes interesting facts and figures out of the way before making any announcements. I’m not sure how but sales figures and iPod market share always seem so much more exciting when they come out of Steve’s mouth – it’s a gift, I’m sure.

The show finally got under way, 15 minutes later than expected, with Steve Jobs informing the open-eared crowd that Apple were today going to make history. After a quickie on how successful the Intel switch was, how “awesome” the new iPod line up is and a jibe at Vista to get even Microsoft laughing, the facts started to roll in:

1) Over 2.0 billion songs sold on iTunes worldwide
2) 5 Million songs downloaded each day, equating to 58 songs every second
3) Because of this fact, iTunes is the fourth largest seller of music, selling more than Amazon
4) 50 million T.V shows have been sold through iTunes
5) The first months of opening, over 1.3 million shows sold
6) Paramount being the latest to offer shows through iTunes
7) Zune market share in November at 2% with iPod holding 62%





After the facts Steve began by introducing AppleTV, formally known as iTV. We pretty much saw this one coming and anyone who follows Apple updates closely will already understand how it works. You will be able to buy movies, music, and T.V shows, download them onto your Mac or onto an iPod, and stream them to your television using AppleTV. As always with Apple, the setup is ridiculously simple.

AppleTV allows users to stream content wirelessly, via Wi-Fi, from up to 5 machines, allowing auto-sync with one of those machines. It features:


  • HDMI Connector/Component cable

  • Up to 720p High Definition video

  • 40GB drive to store streaming content, allowing recent movies to be stored

  • G, B and N Wi-Fi networking standards

  • Simple Apple remote

    A demonstration was then shown on stage by Jobs and Schiller how content can be streamed from a guest computer – a simple authentication number is all that is required.

    AppleTV will be available in February priced around $299, however Apple are taking orders today for the new device.

    Check out the Apple store now for more info.

    The iPhone


    Apple’s stock has no doubt risen considerably since this announcement was made. Steve Jobs personally claimed that he had been “waiting for this day for 2 and a half years”. He quickly ran over products introduced by Apple in the past that have revolutionised the industry and how three more would be announced today, with a widescreen iPod that has touch controls, a mobile phone and a break-through internet communication device – all built into one beautiful contraption called the iPhone. I have personally doubted a mobile phone since the rumours started circulating and I’ve been careful with my words as I never doubted a SmartPhone, although even then I would have said “I never saw this coming”, I’m glad I’ve been proved wrong.

    The new iPhone features a new technology called “multitouch”, invented by Apple Computer, which is to replace plastic keyboards and a stylus as often used on a SmartPhone. During this particular announcement, Steve also mentioned that Apple were the first to invent the mouse, then the click wheel for the iPod and now the “multitouch” for the SmartPhone – and if you haven’t gathered by now, there are NO buttons present on the face of this piece of kit accept the home button.

    At this point Steve still held off showing images of the new device, offering more information and even a quote from Alan Key, “People who are really serious about software should develop their own hardware”, something I dare say Apple have prided themselves on from day one. Some of the features the iPhone has are:


  • The ability to run OS X, which includes Power Management, security, networking etc

  • 3.5” screen with 160PPI (Pixels Per Inch)

  • A single ‘Home’ button

  • 11.6mm thin

  • Built in 2mp camera

  • 3.5mm headset jack

  • Wi-Fi

  • Bluetooth 2.0

  • Sleep/Wake button on top

  • Volume controls

  • iPod connector

  • Sync with iTunes

  • Dashboard like interface

  • Allows conference calling

    With its slick slide mechanism, you’re able to lock and unlock the phone, much like many slide phones at the moment, the difference is you use your finger on the screen to unlock the device. When viewing album art or a movie, the built in orientation adjustment flips the picture either horizontal or vertical allowing for a perfect visual experience. The killer app in question is, according to Mr Jobs, making phone calls with visual voice mail, using Quad-band GSM/Edge. As with most phones at the minute, a simple voicemail would require you to listen to each voicemail fully before moving onto the next one – I’ve not heard of a service to allow you to flick through what you’d like to listen to at least. With visual voicemail, you’re able to do just that, by selecting which voicemails you’d like to listen to.

    Sending a text message appears to be a complete breeze too, as you simply use the on screen touch-screen controls to enter text and Apple claim this to be much easier to use than Blackberry.

    Photos were the “in” thing for mobile phones before MP3’s hit the scene, but that doesn’t stop Apple from taking a moment to think about them. By simply scrolling with your fingers you’re able to browse photos, allowing the change of orientation, and by “pinching” your fingers together you can zoom in or out of an image.

    The Internet communications feature allows use of rich HTML and can work with any IMAP or POP3 e-mail service. Whilst you may be weary of your phone network charges when using the internet, you can simply use Wi-Fi to wireless gain access to the ‘net through your computer. As OS X runs on the iPhone, Safari RSS and Google Maps are both present, allowing up-to-date information on directions and traffic. The transition between Wi-Fi and the cellphone is pretty straightforward as well, as the iPhone can detect and automatically switch to Wi-Fi when necessary.

    As mentioned above, Safari RSS is built into the iPhone as part of OS X. Jobs made a point of demonstrating some of the features, most notably the “pinch” motion which uses two fingers to zoom in to that area of a page – this is a simple way to combat the small text whilst viewing a full webpage on the 3.5” screen.

    Jobs showed us his humour mid-way through the conference by using Google Maps to search for a company, in this case Starbucks, and proceeded to call them and jokingly ordered 4000 lattes, of course, he quickly bailed out of the stunt half way through and claimed to have dialled the wrong number – a great way to demonstrate a new product, I’m sure you’ll agree.

    Whilst I’ve not mentioned audio and video on the iPhone, anyone who has used or knows about the current iPod models will realise how it all works.

    To finish things off, Steve Jobs promised 5 hours of talk time and 16 hours of audio playback on the new iPhone, which is comparable to many mobile phones at the minute. With over 200 patents for inventions in the device, it will cost $499 for the 4GB model and $599 for the 8GB model and will feature a variety of accessories. Moans were aired in the audience when it was announced the iPhone will only be available on Cingular with 2-year contracts and won’t be out until June of this year. Whilst the exclusive partner in the U.S is Cingular, it remains to be seen what partners will be used in other countries, although I can bet Vodafone will be the leading contender in the U.K, with O2 following swiftly behind.

    Apple Computer is no more…

    ...Don’t get too worried, who calls them Apple Computer anymore these days anyway? What with the Mac, iPod, AppleTV, iPhone all being on the product list, Apple Computer is officially now called Apple, Inc. Steve Jobs wrapped things up around an hour and 45 minutes after the show started with a thank you to everyone, including the employees of Apple. Just as Steve Jobs introduced John Mayer on stage to play some music to the fantastic crowd, he received a huge standing ovation.


    Whilst there’s no doubt some disappointed folk out there who are wondering what happened to the update on Leopard, I think it’s fair to say Apple Computer Apple, Inc. have definitely delivered this time around with the iPhone. The rumours kept flying in, then flying out, with patents and fake mock ups making the news and of course, the most recent of set-backs, the iPhone already being the name of another phone like device developed by another company - it began to look like it was all just a silly rumour that some drunken school-kid made up, but millions (me) were proved wrong, gracefully.

    Whilst no new products have been announced for release today, we can look forward to AppleTV in February and the iPhone in June of this year.

    So, readers of AM, what are your thoughts on the announcements? Are you disappointed, overly-joyed or a bit of both? Are you a bit knocked back by the lack of Leopard updates or are you happy to wait out a little longer? We’ll no doubt receive another keynote in a couple of months anyway, so hold your horses until then.

  • Comments

    • What was announced was excellent. What wasn’t made it mundane.

      xwiredtva had this to say on Jan 09, 2007 Posts: 172
    • Here’s a real annoyance right now about the AppleTV, unless I’m misunderstanding something.

      It REQUIRES a widescreen TV, preferably HD.  But iTunes does not offer ANY widescreen content and NO high def content.  The currently available content on iTunes (and supported by your iPod) will look like CRAP.

      Beeblebrox had this to say on Jan 09, 2007 Posts: 2220
    • worse than a Brown Zune… Which i like by the way.

      —KOW 1

      Karl Oscar Weber had this to say on Jan 09, 2007 Posts: 18
    • There gearing up for the future, like the iPhone’s specs show as well as Apple TV. It may be a little soon in the game to throw the love/hate around. Let’s wait and see some test results and real world usage. They (apple) don’t seem to mess up much.

      I think it’s 2009, no more over-air non-hd transmissions… So everything is going HD thus Widescreen as well. So it would only make sense to make it for use in the High Tech households who have these WS displays already. They may start offering Widescreen versions now that Apple TV is out along side regular screen versions.

      ITMS may be offering WS soon or maybe, hopefully not, it’s converting the 4:3 to 16:9… Who knows for now. Let’s see someone review this with ITMS and see what it looks like.

      40gb is NOT enough space however. I have over 55gb of movies already (non iTunes-just ripped my catalog of DVD’s down to 700mb files to play with a Mac Mini for my Home Theater). My Mel Brooks catalog alone took up nearly 22gb (some were not ripped to compressed format).

      I think, and this is only a thought, true Mac users will just use a Mini as it’s only $300 more and offers up SO MUCH MORE. But Apple TV can run on a windows machine network as well. So maybe it’s another way to attract window users to the apple line?

      xwiredtva had this to say on Jan 09, 2007 Posts: 172
    • I’m not sure about Apple TV - content availability will dictate the success of this technology, and this availability is patchy today, even in the USA, and non-existent elsewhere.

      The iPhone is the device we have all been waiting for.  Interesting that Apple have priced the device high AND insisted on a 2yr contract - which means Cingular are probably subsidising the device.

      The iPhone is enough of a story for one show - (and by the way, goodbye Macworld - I guess it will have to be AppleWorld next year).  When you have a story this big, you may as well save your other announcements to dribble out over the next weeks and months to keep the stock market happy…

      Hello BB.  Up to your normal nonsense I see - balancing out the general optimisim with your uber negativity…  You can’t play your vinyl records on it either.  But I am sure Apple Inc will release HD content for you soon enough.  So get over it…

      sydneystephen had this to say on Jan 09, 2007 Posts: 124
    • Up to your normal nonsense I see

      Shoving your head up Steve Jobs’s ass as usual I see.

      The Apple TV does NOT, I repeat, does NOT connect to a regular TV.  With these two products, the Apple TV and iPhone, Apple is cementing its reputation as a company for the rich elite.

      Beeblebrox had this to say on Jan 09, 2007 Posts: 2220
    • Easy beeblebrox, easy smile

      I would argue that Apple isn’t targeting the rich elite, but rather they are on the cutting edge of technology. Actually, I take that back, with flat-panel sales being what they are if anything, HDTVs are becoming the norm, not the exception. Plus, if you want to connect it to your TV I am pretty sure there are HDMI-TV adapters.

      Hadley Stern had this to say on Jan 09, 2007 Posts: 114
    • As with anything, new technology is for the rich elite.  It’s new, it’s sexy, it’s exclusive, it’s expensive.  But now anybody can have a DVD drive for <$100.  That used to be rich elite.  At least Apple is making it backwards compatible with older or even current non-HDTV equipment (not old equipment) with component video and RCA audio output.  If I wanted, I could use it on my 4 year old Toshiba CRT TV.

      oskidoc had this to say on Jan 09, 2007 Posts: 8
    • Easy beeblebrox, easy

      I will proudly point out, Hadley, that I did not start the insults.  Stephen called my post “nonsense” for DARING to point out that Apple products have both upsides AND downsides.

      Plus, if you want to connect it to your TV I am pretty sure there are HDMI-TV adapters.

      For how much?  And it still requires a widescreen, unless you like that “squeezed” look.

      And this isn’t just about “cutting edge” technology.  All of Apple’s products across the board, save for the iPod, are expensive and high end.  The iPod is a bright and shiny exception.

      If that’s what Apple wants, then fine.  But they and their deluded fans have argued time and time again that the Mac is the computer for your grandma, and I doubt they only mean it if your grandma is a Hilton.

      Beeblebrox had this to say on Jan 09, 2007 Posts: 2220
    • Xwiredtva,

      Apple TV can stream content from up to 5 computers in your home. This means the true limit is based on amount of storage you can add to all 5 systems combined. 

      However, you can “sync” Apple TV’s onboard HD with a single account using iTunes. If storage is an issue, you can sync only the last 10 un-viewed TV show, movies, etc. - just like your iPod. This allows Apple TV to display content even if your desktop Mac is turned off or your MacBook / MacBook Pro is in the wild.

      Scott had this to say on Jan 09, 2007 Posts: 144
    • I completely agree that Apple mostly produces products for those who can afford it.  I wince at a >$2000 powerbook (don’t have one).

      But….pretty darned good base-model laptops and Macs for near $1000 isn’t the gouging the $2700 17” laptop is.  Get yesterday’s refurbished model and a lot of those base models drop below $1000.  That’s not economy computing for $250 but pretty affordable for modern technology.  This is the Mastercard “priceless”: you can’t put a price on easy live good quality video chat on Christmas with the whole family from California to Maine when the whole family is using Mac.  I think it’s a darn good deal compared with debatably equivalent hardware from the PC manufacturers.

      oskidoc had this to say on Jan 09, 2007 Posts: 8
    • The same “If it’s on iTunes, it’s on TV” slogan that the AppleTV device is carrying is also on the U.K Apple website - one thing that annoys me, there is NO TV content on the UK iTunes store, so what’s the point in AppleTV for UK users?

      I wouldn’t buy it just for music videos.

      Aaron Wright had this to say on Jan 09, 2007 Posts: 104
    • I think it’s a darn good deal compared with debatably equivalent hardware from the PC manufacturers.

      It’s true that the products that Apple does offer are much more comparable now than they used to be with equivalent products.

      The problem is that Apple doesn’t offer any competitive products on the low end.  I can get notebook computers for as little as $600, but the cheapest Mac notebook is almost twice that.

      And the iPhone isn’t even mid-level, like the Macbook.  It’s really, really expensive and out of reach for almost everyone.

      Like I said, the exception is the iPod.  You can get a low-end for under $100, and more importantly, no other product really competes at that level.

      Beeblebrox had this to say on Jan 09, 2007 Posts: 2220
    • Beeble, nonsense and telling someone their nose is shoved up somewhere is different. Enough said.

      I see it this way with the iPhone, Apple wanted to solve all the big problems that there are with current cellphones and so-called Smartphones. Just like the crowd laughed at the iPod when it first came out as being laughable expensive I think people will look back on the iPhone that way. Remember the shuffle, etc came after the iPhone.

      As far as their not being an affordable mac I thought that issue was put to bed with the Mac mini…I guess not. Yes, you can get a PC laptop for under 600 but is it a dual core? Does it include a built in camera? I doubt it. I would argue that Apple products aren’t so much for the elite, as for those who simply “get it”. Its no Bang and Olufson. Yes that sounds snobby, but I think its a fact. Another fact is that over time Macs last far longer than PCs, so if anything, they are for the spend-thrift.

      Hadley Stern had this to say on Jan 09, 2007 Posts: 114
    • Yes, you can get a PC laptop for under 600 but is it a dual core?

      That’s not the point.  People on a budget know that they aren’t getting the latest greatest technology.  They can’t afford it.  But other PC makers OFFER those products that they can afford.  Apple doesn’t.  They are an elite product with a marketshare you’d expect. 

      Somehow Mac users think that everyone should be gladly shelling out top dollar for Mac products, but that will NEVER be the case until they really start marketing to the budget-minded users.

      I would argue that Apple products aren’t so much for the elite, as for those who simply “get it”.

      Of course you would.  How much more elitist can it get than saying that people who can’t afford an expensive computer don’t “get it”?  Geez.

      But what YOU clearly don’t “get” is that MOST people can’t even afford the entry price of a Mac, whether it lasts longer or not, whether the TCO is less or not.  It could be that a BMW has a lower overall maintenance cost than a Corolla, but there are lot more people driving Corollas.  And it’s not because those people don’t “get it.”

      Beeblebrox had this to say on Jan 09, 2007 Posts: 2220
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